Art Industry News: An Immersive Mixed-Reality Banksy Extravaganza (a.k.a. Exhibition) Is Coming to New York + Other Stories

Plus, there's intrigue on the board of Leon Black's company Apollo and a Malaysian artist is arrested for insulting the queen.

A visitor takes a photo of a recreation of The Walled Off Hotel room at the "Banksy: Genius or Vandal?" exhibition at Asobuild on March 27, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images)

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 27.


Malaysian Artist Arrested for Allegedly Insulting the Queen – Artist Fahmi Reza was arrested on April 23 for allegedly insulting the Malaysian queen by creating a Spotify playlist that referenced a mocking comment on her Instagram account. In response to a follower asking if the palace chefs were all vaccinated, the queen’s account asked if the follower was “jealous.” The artist—whose wry playlist included songs with the word “jealousy”—has been released on bail. (Reuters)

A Suitcase Caused an Evacuation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – A bomb squad and emergency service unit responded to a report on Monday of an “unattended bag” outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue “with some wires [sticking] out.” It turned out to be a false alarm—the suitcase contained only old clothes. (Gothamist)

Banksy Street Art Show Comes to New York – Can’t get a ticket to the Van Gogh Experience? Try the next best thing: an “immersive exhibit” opening in New York this August titled “Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?” The show, which will include 80 works alongside a virtual reality experience, has toured through 15 other cities around the world. Its location has not yet been revealed; tickets go on sale on May 4. Banksy is not involved in the show. (Time Out)

Art Collectors Will Advise Leon Black’s Company – Siddhartha Mukherjee, a scientist, art collector, and husband of artist Sarah Sze, was named to the board of Apollo alongside collector Pam Joyner back in January. Now, some are questioning whether the additions were a way for CEO Leon Black to retain his influence ahead of stepping down amid controversy over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein. A rep for Apollo says the new additions “have impeccable credentials and offer significant value to the Apollo board.” (New York Post)


Armory Show Announces 2021 Exhibitors – The Armory Show in New York will bring together 194 exhibitors at its new venue, the Javits Center, from September 9 through 12. Victoria Miro, Sadie Coles HQ, and Anton Kern Gallery are among those returning; first-time participants include Galeria Millan from São Paulo and Proyectos Ultravioleta from Guatemala City. (ARTnews)

Rare Book Collection Brings in $12.4 Million – A collection of rare books owned by New York philanthropists Elaine and Alexander Rosenberg raked in $12.4 million at Christie’s New York. The sale, which had a 98 percent sell-through rate, included 17 rare illuminated manuscripts and around 200 Medieval- and Renaissance-era books. (ARTnews)


Some Italian Museums Are Reopening – The Palazzo Barberini in Rome and Venice’s La Fenice Opera House are planning to reopen next Monday. Florence’s Uffizi Galleries will open gradually, starting with its gardens, and the archaeological site Pompeii will reopen next Tuesday. (Monopol)

Meg Onli Wins Inaugural Figure Skating Prize – The curator has won the $75,000 inaugural Figure Skating Prize, which honors Black cultural workers advancing racial equity in the arts. Onli is associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. (The Art Newspaper)


How Can the Art World Tackle Climate Change? – In a roundtable moderated by Artnet News’s own Kate Brown, London art dealer Kate MacGarry and Berlin-based dealer Jennifer Chert of Galerie ChertLüdde, two founding members of the growing Gallery Climate Coalition, speak with ecologically-minded art duo Cooking Sections and environmental artist Andreas Greiner about how the art world can transform itself to become more sustainable. (Gallery Weekend Berlin)

The New Clubhouse Icon Is an Artist – The popular audio-only app has a new face: Asian-American artist Drue Kataoka. “I am humbled & moved [sic] to be the first Asian American woman & first visual artist @joinclubhouse ‘icon,'” she said in an Instagram post. Kakoata, whose visage will now appear on the app’s home screen, is the founder of The Art Club, one of Clubhouse’s first and largest art-based clubs, and has been actively raising money for anti-racism campaigns. (Forbes)

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